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Title: Punctuated gradualism : policy images, public opinion and policy change in tobacco control
Author: Vannoni, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 8262
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This work poses the question: what explains policy change in tobacco control? To answer it, I draw on studies of public policy that focus on the role of ideas and societal actors in the policy process. In particular, the punctuated equilibrium theory examines how ideas framed in a certain way enter the political agenda and become rooted in society, and predicts that policies emerge dramatically after long periods of stability. Nonetheless, the impact of public opinion has been overlooked in this literature. To address this gap, the theory proposed in this study, called punctuated gradualism theory, refines the punctuated equilibrium theory by incorporating the role of public opinion. Under the punctuated gradualism theory, policies evolve through periods of stability and change, but in some instances they evolve more gradually than in others, depending on how public opinion reacts to how the policy is framed, namely the policy image. Relying on qualitative analysis of the introduction of smoking and advertisement bans in Ireland, France and Italy in the 1990s and 2000s and on the quantitative analysis of polls and surveys, the data collected for this study show that public opinion reactions to the policy image affect how an issue evolves in the agenda-setting process and influence how societal actors interact between each other, thus determining the final policy choice. The contribution of this study is both theoretical and empirical. First, it incorporates public opinion into the theory of policy change; second, it accounts for some important variation in policy dynamics, which the current literature cannot explain.
Supervisor: Coen, D. ; John, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available